UCLA is taking on USC this weekend at the University of Southern California. No, its not football or basketball, its a hackathon. The Trojan Hack is bringing together programmers from both schools, to build the best apps in a 24 hour competition. The Trojan Hack was created by Ju Hae Lee and Andreas Petasis, two USC students that were inspired by the PennApps contest, and wanted to create a competition so fierce that it would settle the question between USC and UCLA once and for all.
The event starts 6:00 PM Friday, February 3rd and runs until 6:00 PM Saturday, February 4th at the Forum in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, on the University of Southern California campus. The event isn’t just limited to UCLA and USC students, any college student from a Southern California area school is welcome.
PennApps and the Trojan Hack are both great models for other schools to follow. During a time when many university athletic programs are coming under fire for ethical issues, hackathons have the potential to provide a way for non-athletic university departments to compete and show their dominance in disciplines ranging from computer science to history.
University hackathons are not just a great way for schools and students to show off their skils. Hackathons provide a rich marketing environment for mobile, web and API platforms, giving them the opportunity to establish an awareness of their platforms, as well as usage by university students, establishing a loyal developer base that will take their API knowledge with them into the workplace, after they graduate.
If you’re in Los Angeles this weekend, make sure and come out to watch the action, and cheer on your favorite school. If you’re a student or faculty at another school, you should consider a hackthon at your campus, and maybe someday we’ll see hackathons rival college athletics for money, spectators and media attention.